Racial attitudes and policy preferences

Publication Year:
2004
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/gradschool_theses/905
Author(s):
Pike, Jennifer Kirsten
Tags:
race-neutral policy preferences; feeling thermometer scores
thesis / dissertation description
This thesis analyzes statistical models of the impact of racial attitudes on race-neutral policy preferences in the 2002 Louisiana population. Previous research has identified racial attitudes as a determinant of welfare spending preferences in the national white population. This paper uses ordered logit modeling to test for the impact of racial attitudes on welfare and public education spending preferences within a state population, with separate analyses for black and white respondents. Moreover, this analysis provides a parallel model for highway spending as a control for the theoretical race-coded nature of welfare and public education. The analysis demonstrates similar racialization of the ostensibly race-neutral policy areas for both black and white respondents. The findings show strong support for the theory that racial attitudes inform welfare spending preferences, and modest support that they influence education spending preferences. However, the analysis also shows that racial attitudes inform highway spending preferences. This counterintuitive finding casts doubt on the connections demonstrated by the models of other spending areas and suggests that the demonstrated statistical connection may be spurious.